Major General John Lorimer, the Chief of the Defence Staff’s Strategic Communications Officer, said today, Thursday 31 March 2011:
In support of the UK’s ongoing commitment to enforcing UNSCR [United Nations Security Council Resolution] 1973 to protect Libyan civilians, RAF Tornado aircraft flying from Gioia del Colle in Italy conducted a series of armed air reconnaissance and overwatch patrols over Libya yesterday.
In the course of these patrols the aircraft launched Paveway IV and Brimstone missiles against military assets of pro-Gaddafi forces in the Misurata area.
These missiles hit three main battle tanks, two armoured fighting vehicles and a surface-to-air missile site.
RAF VC10 tanker aircraft, Nimrod R1, Sentinel and E3-D aircraft from Akrotiri and Trapani supported these missions at the same time as providing support to RAF Typhoon operations to patrol the no-fly zone and other coalition strikes.
As part of our ongoing support to the NATO Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, HMS Cumberland patrolled international waters off Libya, conducting sea denial, surveillance, and monitoring of shipping.
During this period HMS Cumberland launched her Lynx helicopter on a number of surface search missions during which she made a contribution to the coalition surveillance effort in support of the arms embargo.